Website owner:  James Miller

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On effecting change in a person’s basic nature

Yesterday I heard a country music group singing a moralistic song about the desirability of a future utopia in which mankind renounced all war and lived in peace (an antiwar song). My reaction was this: the song is all impractical, wishful thinking; an exercise in foolishness. Talking of a world in which there is no more war is like talking of a land where there is no heartbreak or sorrow. Why is this? The reason is due to the cause of wars. The cause of wars comes from man’s basic nature. To have a world in which there was no more wars, you would have to change the basic nature of all men. The problem here is that a person cannot change someone else’s basic nature to make them good and virtuous. Any such change in a person’s basic nature must come from within himself. The initiating and propelling force must come from within the person himself, out of serious desire to change. He has to do it himself. No one can do it for him. And accomplishing this feat is not easy. Why? All men are naturally inclined toward sin, foolishness and error. The way of sin, foolishness and error is the easy road. It is the way of the crowd and people are natural followers. Everyone wants to fit in, be accepted, be part of the group. No one wants to stand alone or risk the criticism of the group. So, to fit in, people take on the outlooks, attitudes and values of the group. The way of virtue and goodness is the difficult road. It involves the pursuit of truth and understanding and this pursuit dictates separating yourself from the crowd. It requires objective thinking unbiased by influence or convention. It is a solitary road. It is a way of personal struggle, self-discipline, self-denial, austerity. It is only a special type person who will voluntarily follow this path. A prerequisite is a serious, thoughtful, inquisitive person in search of truth who wishes to change himself in accordance with the truth and understanding he finds. It involves the honest wish to be virtuous, the audacity to try, and strategy for making it work. Personal goodness and virtue arise from the practice of God’s teachings and obedience to conscience. Involved is the personal trait of courage — courage to go against the current, stand up for truth, stand alone against the crowd.

Oct 2013

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